Darjeeling 2nd Flush Castleton

Tea type
Black Tea
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Autumn Leaf Pile, Butter, Caramel, Drying, Floral, Hazelnut, Mineral, Muscatel, Nuts, Salty, Tannin, Wood, Cocoa, Orange Blossom, Salt, Savory, Sweet
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Edit tea info Last updated by Leafhopper
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 oz / 355 ml

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From Camellia Sinensis

This Indian Darjeeling black tea is a perfect introduction to Second Flush and one of the best we have had in the catalogue for years. The garden of Castleton, 130 years of experience and one of the most prestigious of the region, is essential tasting for any tea connoisseur.

Copper coloured leaves and buds offer subtle saline and caramel notes. Once steeped, an initial aromatic floral burst, develops into a woody, earthy and roasted hazelnut body.

An exemplary Himalayan tea.

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2 Tasting Notes

408 tasting notes

This second flush is from 2020, which makes it relatively new in my tea collection. It caught my eye because Camellia Sinensis noted it was representative of the style, and even though I’ve had many SF Darjeelings, I still look for benchmarks of what they’re “supposed” to taste like. I steeped 4 g of leaf in a 355 ml mug at 195F for 5, 7, and 10 minutes.

The dry aroma is of caramel, nuts, and flowers. The first steep has notes of autumn leaves, nuts (yes, hazelnut seems accurate), caramel, butter, wood, flowers, saline, and a hint of muscatel. The finish is rather woody and drying, especially if the tea is held in the mouth for any length of time. The tea also has some tannins. The next couple steeps are heavier on the nuts and caramel and lighter on the fruit and florals. I get some minerality in the third steep.

This tea is a good deal more restrained than the luxuriantly fruity, floral second flush Darjeelings I gravitate toward. However, I think it is indeed a high-quality, well-made example of the type, if not one that really wows me.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Butter, Caramel, Drying, Floral, Hazelnut, Mineral, Muscatel, Nuts, Salty, Tannin, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 355 ML

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1704 tasting notes

Only have three samples left from the Leafhopper trade. Again, thank you!

I was debating on what I wanted this morning, and since it’s a crisp spring day, a slightly autumnal or floral Darjeeling would probably go well with it. This note is going to be shorter than my usual verbose nonsense because I decided to do this western.

I emptied the entire sample in my french press that I do not actually press, and let it sit between 2-3 minutes. I sipped a little pour to see how it would play out, and it was sweet floral and savory, a little nutty, but thin. After a full brew, I filled my mug. Same descriptors apply becoming more specific: orange blossom, butter, roasted and salted nuts, and a savory but very woodsy finish. There was a little bit of cocoa in the notes, but not a lot and the tea was definitely not malty.

Second brew had much the same notes, but woodsier and nuttier. The finish was pretty drying but not quite as flavorful the first time, so I stopped there.

Looking at Camellia Sinensis notes, they make more sense. Caramel, “saline” notes, and hazelnut are the more vivid descriptors, and they actually amped up the woodsiness on their flavor wheel. I haven’t totally agreed with some of the other flavors they’ve described before applying different approximative adjectives for the same thing (supercalifragilisticexpialidocious), but I agree with their assessment this time. I will say that saline does make it a little bit more fancy than just “salty”. Curse negative connotations.

Either way, the mix of floral, sweet and savory components were nice, and what I like about Darjeelings. I’m not sure if I’d buy more due to me using the big bucks for my outrageously expensive usuals, but I would say yes every time I’d be offered up this one. I think it would be a nice entry for straight second flush teas, but I wouldn’t add cream AND sugar to this one since it is on the fainter side, though some sugar might be nice. It made my morning anyway.

Flavors: Butter, Cocoa, Drying, Floral, Hazelnut, Nuts, Orange Blossom, Salt, Savory, Sweet, Wood

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